Skylights add elegance and dimension to any space by bringing in natural light. Quality in skylights is crucial, as they must be resistant to impact, withstand the elements and be energy efficient. While skylights have traditionally been made with glass, many consumers now prefer the advantages of plastic. Certain acrylic and polycarbonate materials can block infrared heat and harmful UV rays, and both are extremely impact resistant. These materials are also much lighter than glass, making them a safer and more economical choice.
These skylight materials are extremely functional, but they also offer advantages in design variety. Acrylic and Polycarbonate can be heated and formed into domes and a variety of other shapes, increasing design flexibility and reducing breakage from hail and other sources. Acrylic skylights can be made from either transparent or translucent sheets. , Transparent acrylics offer a bronze or gray tint and translucent acrylics add the option of white. Polycarbonate materials are naturally transparent, transmitting nearly as much light as glass.
Piedmont Plastics carries a deep inventory of all plastic materials used in skylight production, and can give guidance on the heat-resistant and UV-blocking qualities of these materials.